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Monday, September 28, 2009, 05:40 am PT (08:40 am ET)

Apple announces App Store downloads top 2 billion

Apple on Monday revealed that its App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch had served customers more than 2 billion downloads of software, with a half-billion in the last quarter.

Apple said there are more than 85,000 applications available to more than 50 million iPhone and iPod touch customers. It is said to be the largest application store in the world. There are 125,000 developers in the iPhone Developer program.

"The rate of App Store downloads continues to accelerate with users downloading a staggering two billion apps in just over a year, including more than half a billion apps this quarter alone," said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. "The App Store has reinvented what you can do with a mobile handheld device, and our users are clearly loving it."

The iPhone and iPod touch are available in 77 countries. In July, as the App Store turned one year old, Apple announced that more than 1.5 billion applications were downloaded in its first 12 months.

As the total number of iPhone and iPod touch users continues to grow, the rate at which applications are downloaded continues to accelerate. It was on April 23 that the store reached the 1 billion application mark.

Since it first opened 445 days ago, the App Store has seen an average of 4.5 million downloads per day. In the last 80 days alone, that total has accelerated to nearly 6.3 million each day.

For comparison, in its first 365 days, the store had an average 4.1 million downloads per day. From April to July 2009, that pace increased to 6.3 million each day.

Earlier this month, Apple released iTunes 9 with application management. The new feature allows users to view all of their iPod touch and iPhone home screens. With the Applications view, users can rearrange applications on their computer, designated which software goes where.

Also released this month was iPhone OS 3.1, which brought an App Store recommendation feature to the iPhone and iPod touch. The new Genius feature recommends new applications to users based on software they already have installed. With so many options available on the App Store, it is designed to help users find new software easily.